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Hallowed Artisans


Pantaleon, Candelario, Ildefonso, Serapio... where do these names come from? Up through the early 1900s, many children in Mexico were named after the Saint's day on which they were born.
Pantaleon Panduro, for example, was born on July 27, day of Saint Pantaleon on both the Roman and Byzantine calendars. San Pantaleon (c. 305 AD) is believed to have been Emperor Maximian's physician. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and is referred to as the Great Martyr and Wonder Worker in the East.
Born on February 2, Candelario Medrano was named after Dia de la Candelaria (Candlemas). This holiday, which falls exactly 40 days after Christmas, commemorates the presentation of baby Jesus in the Temple. In Mexico, it is celebrated by providing new clothes for the Niño Dios (Christ Child) figure that graces many households in this country, and with a family tamaliza, or tamale banquet. Dating back to the 4th century, this Christian celebration is actually rooted in Roman pagan rituals held during early February in preparation for the spring agricultural cycle.
With such esteemed backgrounds to their names, is it any wonder Mexico's favorite artisans are so revered?